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One silver lining to the COVID-19 pandemic for facility managers is upper management's realization of the importance facility management plays in keeping building occupants safe. Newfound attention and funding has been given to upgrade facilities, especially in areas of indoor air quality and infection prevention.
Now the challenge becomes how facility managers will allocate these resources to their projects. This is where an understanding of the capital planning process is needed. Unfortunately, according to a recent PROFMI study, this is one skill not many facility managers possess. Capital planning is one of the top training priorities for not only facility leaders, but for their team members as well.
Adding to the struggle is the fact that the supply chain is still a mess. Product shortages have delayed projects months or even years. It is getting harder to determine not only which capital projects to invest in, but which ones can be finished in a realistic timeframe.
In the ebook "Making A Case For Capital Projects," John Hajduk, president, Thornridge Facilities Associates and executive director of facilities services for Sodexo, suggests looking at potential capital projects in three buckets:
1. Obsolescence: What systems or buildings are coming to the end of their useful lives, and what action needs to be taken as a result?
2. Operational excellence: Even if a system isn’t obsolete, it may be inefficient or unreliable, and thus, costing the organization extra money.
3. Business strategy delivery: Do the current facilities support your company’s strategic goals? If not, what capital projects will be needed to bring the facilities in line with the company’s plans?
At NFMT Baltimore in March, facility managers have the opportunity to discuss their capital planning challenges and best practices during the Capital Planning Think Tank. These 60-minute informal discussions are open to Elite Level attendees and provide a chance for peer-to-peer networking in a small group setting.
NFMT Baltimore takes place March 21-23 at the Baltimore Convention Center. Register today or visit www.nftm.com to learn more.
Dan Weltin is the editor-in-chief for the facility market. He has 20 years of experience covering the facility management and commercial cleaning industries.
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